COVID-19 is an evolving, ever-changing global public health issue which has created unprecedented international responses of safety protocols, quarantining efforts, behavior modifications, and more. The wide-spread impact of the infectious disease has yet to be fully realized, as many countries are still early on in their trajectory of the illness. During this time when so many people are struggling emotionally and financially, it may be hard to share the other stressors that exist within your life that are painful. This week is National Infertility Awareness Week (April 19–25, 2020), a campaign aimed to raise awareness around infertility and help change the conversation.
Anyone can be challenged to have a family, in fact, infertility is common with one in eight couples in the U.S struggling to get pregnant. Historically, infertility is steeped in shame and the stigmas surrounding infertility discourages the people experiencing it from sharing these struggles. At this moment in time, when the collective global grief seems to reach a new peak every day, it’s even more difficult to open up and share your personal battles. “As if infertility wasn’t isolating enough, now we’re all in quarantine,” shares Dr. Jamie Massie, reproductive physician at ORM Fertility’s Bellevue location.
It may seem like a poor time to start planning for your family, but for many, the desire to have a family didn’t cease with the onset of COVID-19. For many, time is of the essence—specifically for women in late maternal age, defined as 35 and older, who are concerned about their ability to conceive. For them, continuing to wait to grow their family isn’t an ideal option. Women are born with the supply of eggs they'll have in their lifetime, which, along with the health and viability of the eggs, diminishes over time. This unprecedented time can feel like another weight, especially for those trying to figure out how to grow your family. This is where ORM Fertility can help. As one of the world's most successful fertility clinics, with locations in Downtown Portland and Bellevue, ORM is supporting families during this time by providing:
- Free virtual one-hour consultations with a reproductive physician to learn about your fertility treatment options and create a plan for when you’re ready.
- A robust proactive fertility and integrative medicine program that educates patients on the diet and lifestyle modifications they can make to optimize their fertility.
- Free virtual infertility support groups held monthly by ORM Fertility’s Director of Psychological Services, Britta Dinnsmore, Ph.D. These professionally led support groups allow those in the infertility community to connect with one another and provide attendees with useful stress management and mindfulness techniques.
National Infertility Awareness Week brings the community closer together and creates a platform for people to raise their voices. With so many in-person events cancelled because of COVID-19, people with infertility and those struggling to build a family need support more than ever. “It’s never felt like a more meaningful time to connect with patients and show our support during this time of isolation,” expresses Dr. Jamie Massie. Anyone can be challenged to have a family. No matter what race, religion, sexuality, or economic status, infertility does not discriminate. You can find helpful resources, uplifting quotes, and infertility patient designed e-cards to send to friends, family, and others on the ORM website. Use #InfertilitySucks to join the conversation and raise awareness for this important and isolating disease that impacts both women and men equally. You are not alone, together we can change the conversation and break down the barriers to starting or growing your family! Visit ormfertility.com/niaw to learn more.